For the second consecutive day to open training camp, Dwight Howard (back) participated fully, going through everything from 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 contact drills to the offensive and defensive skeleton sets being implemented by the coaching staff.
“As much as he’s practicing, to me he’s back,” said Lakers head coach Mike Brown after the team completed the first of two Wednesday practices. “Just waiting for the doctors (and) trainers to clear him. When that happens, he’ll go full tilt. But he looks good out there.”
The night session would feature the first full court 5-on-5 scrimmage, the one thing L.A.’s training staff will hold Howard out of as his rehabilitation process continues.
“I’m still trying to regain strength,” Howard explained. “I’m not playing until I’m 100 percent. Just because I’m doing drills with the team or running up and down, it doesn’t mean I’m ready to play in a game. There’s a difference between running up and down and being actually out there battling. When I’m 100 percent and able to go, then I’ll go.”
After Tuesday’s extensive session, Howard relayed why many of his teammates feel he’s ahead of the expected schedule.
“Hopefully, I will be back for some preseason games,” Howard said. “I think we are going to need it for chemistry and all that stuff. But like I said, I’m not going to rush it.”
The six-time All Star wanted to see how he felt after Tuesday’s first full practice with teammates, and revealed that Wednesday’s work out also went well; the word “setback” has certainly not come up.
As such, optimism reigns in Los Angeles as it pertains to Howard, who spent far more time running up and down the court and dunking than many expected to start training camp.